Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: Formula 1 drivers in panic mode after Yemen’s Houti rebels set Jeddah oil facility on fire during practice session


Yemen’s Houti rebels attacked a Saudi oil facility in Jeddah just when Formula 1 drivers were busy taking part in the practice session for this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The oil facility was set on fire as black smoke engulfed the air causing a delay in the second round of the F1 practice session. Alarmed by the development, F1 drivers have reportedly expressed their unease over taking part in the Grand Prix.

However, the world governing body of Formula 1 has said that the weekend’s race will go ahead as scheduled.

This was after team principals held a closed-door meeting with the race organisers and FIA bosses.

Formula 1 said that it has been in close contact with the relevant Saudi authorities over the terror attack on a oil facility.

A statement by the F 1 said, “The authorities have confirmed that the event can continue as planned and we will remain in close contact with them and all the teams and closely monitor the situation.”

Saudi race organisers, the Saudi Motorsport Company, said, “We are aware of the attack on the Aramco distribution station in Jeddah earlier this afternoon and remain in contact with the Saudi security authorities, as well as F1 and the FIA to ensure all necessary security and safety measures continue to be implemented.”

After his meeting with team principals, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem said, “They are targeting the infrastructure, not the civilians, and, of course, not the track. We’ve checked the facts and we’ve got assurances from the highest level that this is a secure place. Let’s go on racing.”

Saudi Grand Prix was the penultimate event of the last season’s racing calendar. However, the FIA has chosen to visit the country in its second race this year.

As scheduled, the qualifying rounds will take place on Saturday with the race scheduled for Sunday.

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